Book review: My Name Is Arnaktauyok: The Life and Art of Germaine Arnaktauyok, by Germaine Arnaktauyok and Gyu Oh

Arnaktauyok, Germaine and Gyu Oh. My Name Is Arnaktauyok: The Life and Art of Germaine Arnaktauyok. Inhabit Media, 2015. $24.95. 160p. 978-1772270006. Ages 12+.

AarnaktauyokAlmost 100 full-color reproductions of works by Germaine Arnaktauyok in this beautiful book accompany an in-depth view of the Canadian North’s artist in her own words. After her childhood in a traditional Inuk camp near Igloolik, Nunavut, she was sent at the age of nine to a residential school. She was educated as an artist after she left her husband and then returned to the North where she developed a large variety of artistic media—drawings, etchings, prints, lithographs, and other illustrations. Her artwork varies from figures to landscapes and even tattoos—colorful to somber black and white. Arnaktauyok’s talent is featured throughout the world in museums and galleries, and this book is invaluable because she shows her process and inspiration through commentaries on several works. Her story shows struggles for Native Americans, for example her inability to get an identification card because her name had been changed to that of her father, something that Inuit never does. Almost 70, Germaine has reclaimed her history and traditions. The publisher, Inhabit Media, is Inuit-owned and the only independent publishing company in the Canadian Arctic.

April 2016 review by Nel Ward.

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